How to Make Wooden Toys

Two sets of plans for making wooden toys: a doll's cradle and a biplane.


| November/December 1972



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Toy cradles have been delighting little girls for generations.


PHOTOS: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

AFTER YEARS OF CRAPPY PLASTIC, WOODEN TOYS ARE BACK IN STYLE! AND THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN BUYING SUCH SATISFYING PLAYTHINGS FOR YOUR FAVORITE LITTLE PEOPLE IS BUILDING 'EM YOURSELF. YOU CAN DO IT, TOO, WITH AN ASSIST FROM PETER STEVENSON'S BOOK. HERE, FROM THAT BOOK, ARE TWO SETS OF PLANS. THE FIRST SHOWS YOU HOW TO PUT TOGETHER A CRADLE THAT'S JUST THE RIGHT SIZE TO TUCK A DOLL OR TEDDY BEAR INTO. . . AND, IF YOU FOLLOW THE SECOND, YOU'LL PRODUCE A FUNKY BIPLANE GUARANTEED TO DELIGHT ANY YOUNG AVIATOR OR AVIATRIX.

From THE ART OF MAKING WOODEN TOYS, by Peter Stevenson. Copyright ©1971, by the author. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Chilton Book Company, Philadelphia.

Click on the Image Library to see diagram and plans for the projects.

Making a Wooden Doll's Cradle

The cradle design was taken almost verbatim from a 200-year-old New England version that has made a big hit with the little ones ever since the days before George Washington and his boys got busy. For the turned legs, use ready-made room-divider posts available at most lumberyards and home-supply stores. Of course, if you have access to a wood lathe, then you're all set to make your own style posts. Or if neither ready-made posts nor lathes seem to be within your reach, the designs can be cut into the sides of 2" X 2" stock with a band saw or coping saw.

Only two of the ready-made 18" divider posts are needed. Each post is cut near the center of the turned part, forming one of the 10" posts for the head of the cradle, as well as the 8" post for the foot of the cradle on one side.

Step One: Cutting  





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